Today In History...

In 1519 Artist Leonardo da Vinci dies at Cloux, France.
In 1670 The Hudson Bay Company is chartered by England's King Charles II.
In 1820 Missionaries in Hawaii attempt to ban surfing as "immodest and a waste of time."
In 1829 One foot of hail falls on Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
In 1863 Confederate General "Stonewall" Jackson is accidentally shot by his own men during the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia; he dies 8 days later.
In 1865 President Andrew Johnson offers a $100,000 reward for the capture of Jefferson Davis.
In 1878 The U.S. stops minting the 20 cent coin.
In 1885 The first "Good Housekeeping" magazine is published by Clark W. Bryan in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
In 1890 The Oklahoma Territory is organized.
In 1932 Jack Benny's first radio show debuts on the NBC Blue Network.
In 1936 "Peter and the Wolf," a symphonic tale for children by Sergei Prokofiev, premieres in Moscow.
In 1939 Baseball player Lou Gehrig sets an impressive record for participation in the most consecutive games (2130).
In 1945 The Soviet Union announces the fall of Berlin, and the Allies announce the surrender of Nazi troops in Itlay and parts of Austria.
In 1945 The FCC approves regularly scheduled commercial TV programming.
In 1946 5 prisoners die in a revolt at the island prison of Alcatraz off the coast of San Francisco.
In 1946 The movie "The Postman Always Rings Twice" opens in the U.S.
In 1953 King Hussein is crowned King Of Jordan.
In 1957 Senator Joseph McCarthy, the controversial Republican senator from Wisconsin, dies at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.
In 1960 Convicted sex offender Caryl Chessman, who had become a best-selling author while on death row, is executed at San Quentin Prison in California.
In 1965 Intelsat (Early Bird) transmits the first satellite TV pictures.
In 1968 "The Odd Couple" starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, which later inspired the ABC series, opens in movie theaters.
In 1972 After serving 48 years as head of the FBI under eight presidents, J. Edgar Hoover dies at age 77.
In 1974 Former Vice President Spiro T. Agnew is disbarred by the Maryland Court of Appeals, effectively preventing him from practicing law anywhere in the U.S.
In 1979 Bobby Kempf set a world record by eating 3 lemons in 15 seconds.
In 1983 47 people are injured when a 28-second earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale strikes Coalinga, California, causing $31 million in damages.
In 1984 President Reagan, on his way back to Washington after a six-day visit to China, met briefly in Fairbanks, Alaska, with Pope John Paul II, who was on his way to South Korea.
In 1986 Soviet official Boris N. Yeltsin tells West German television that water reservoirs near the crippled Chernobyl nuclear power plant were contaminated with radioactivity.
In 1988 Cincinnati Reds baseball manager Pete Rose is suspended for 30 days by National League President A. Bartlett Giamatti, 2 days after Rose shoved an umpire during a game won by the New York Mets, 6-5.
In 1989 Hungary becomes the first Eastern Bloc nation to open a border to the West, tearing down a 150 mile fence along the Austrian border.
In 1990 The government of South Africa and the African National Congress open their first formal talks aimed at paving the way for more substantive negotiations on dismantling apartheid.
In 1991 In his ninth encyclical, Pope John Paul II acknowledges the success of capitalism, but denounced the system for sometimes achieving results at the expense of the poor and of morality.
In 1992 Former House Ways and Means Chairman Wilbur D. Mills, whose career was destroyed by his association with stripper Fanne Fox, dies in Searcy, Arkansas, at age 82.
In 1993 Authorities say they had recovered the remains of David Koresh from the burned-out Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas.
In 1994 Dr. Jack Kevorkian is acquitted on Michigan charges he violated state law prohibiting assisted suicide.
In 1994 Nelson Mandela claims victory in the wake of South Africa's first democratic elections; President F.W. de Klerk acknowledged defeat.
In 1995 An appeals court overturns the convictions of Kathryn Dawn Wilson, and Robert Kelly Jr., who were accused of molesting children at the Little Rascals Day Care Center.
In 1995 President Clinton agrees to allow some 20,000 Cubans into the U.S. after months of detention at Guantanamo Bay, but said any more Cubans who fled their country would be forcibly repatriated.
In 1996 Arizona Governor Fife Symington announces a state of emergency, mobilizing 40 National Guard troops to assist federal firefighting crews battling a blaze that had burned 57,000 acres of desert scrubland.
In 1997 Tony Blair, whose new Labor Party crushed John Major's long-reigning Conservatives, becomes at age 44, Britain's youngest prime minister in 185 years.
In 1997 Heart disease and strokes are the world's leading causes of death, according to worldwide mortality statistics.
In 1999 Yugoslav authorities hand over to the Reverand Jesse Jackson three American prisoners of war who had been held for a month.
In 1999 Actor Oliver Reed dies in Malta at age 61.
In 2001 Germany inaugurates its new Chancellery in Berlin.
In 2001 A landslide destroys a 9-story apartment building in China, killing at least 79 people.
In 2003 India and Pakistan agree to hold talks on settling a half-century of disputes that had drawn them into three wars.


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